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LEGAL CHAT

Your patta questions answered

R.L. NARAYANAN

The significance of the document, and how to obtain one



Registration: A patta is often the main document to establish ownership.

Questions are often raised regarding patta, its use and the necessity and manner of obtaining it. It may therefore be useful to provide some clarifications regarding these aspects.

There are many types of patta. However, the most common are the “Extract from Permanent Land Register,” “Extract from Town Survey Land Register” and the patta issued in respect of holdings as per available records. This discussion is confined to these types of patta only.

What is a patta?

This is an extract issued from the Register of Land holdings maintained, usually at the Office of the Tahsildar concerned. This is issued in the name of the person or persons in whose name the records relating to the holdings are maintained or may be available The issuance of patta signifies the lawful possession.

Who issues the patta?

Usually, the Tahsildar issues the Patta. Other officers are also empowered to do so depending on the facts and circumstances of each case.

What is the procedure for obtaining patta?

Normally, an application has to be made to the Tahsildar in the form of a simple requisition to issue the patta, providing necessary details and documents. It is issued in the name of owner or in the case of joint holdings, in the names of the joint owners. If required, the officer concerned may require the applicant to furnish details in a particular format and may also hold enquiry before granting the patta. A survey may also be made if so deemed fit.

Does every patta has a plan or sketch?

In cases of patta which are “Extracts from Permanent Land Register" and “Extracts from Town Survey Land Register”, a topo plan is issued and is part of the patta. In the case agricultural holdings, the topo Plan is not usually issued.

Is it mandatory to have a patta for every property?

In case of properties which have buildings or structures, physical occupation and possession may be demonstrable. In case of vacant lands, this may not be possible. In such instances, patta is the main document for establishing lawful possession. Even in case of properties with buildings and structures, patta is the primary document to establish lawful possession. It also has other uses, especially when one is dealing with one's property, as it contains many other vital details including the extent of holdings and in many cases, the measurements.

Is patta required for establishing ownership of apartments?

Patta is a document relating to land and not buildings, although the patta may include particulars relating to the buildings. In respect of apartments the land is usually owned by the co-owners in undivided shares and Patta is not issued for undivided shares of land. However, it may be possible to get the patta in the names of all the co-owners jointly. Patta issued in the names of joint owners does not specify the shares of the individual owners and in such cases of joint patta, there is scope for confusion. Also, depending on the nature of holding, Urban Land Tax or other taxes may become payable on the basis of joint patta. Otherwise, as related to individual holdings alone, the same may not be payable.

In what cases are patta transferred?

There are a few instances when patta needs to be transferred. Take the case of an owner, having a patta, expiring without leaving a Will. In such cases, the legal heirs of the deceased person are entitled to have patta for the property in their names.

In the case of a person leaving a Will, patta can be transferred to the beneficiary with the consent of others who will be the immediate heirs of the deceased person. The officer concerened may also require the production of Letters of Administration or Order of Probate in appropriate cases.

My seller has a patta in the name of previous owner. Is it mandatory for my seller to have patta in his or her name?

Although, it is possible to have the patta directly in the name of a purchaser or a transferee, after purchase or transfer, it is desirable that patta is available in the name of the seller or the transferor. To a certain extent, there could be an element of comfort if the seller is a known person or the transferor a close relative. It is also possible to ascertain whether patta will be issued in the name of the purchaser or the transferee and in cases where patta is not obtained by the seller or the transferor but documents are in order, it is best to check whether it will be issued directly in favour of the purchaser or the transferee.

The title deeds are in the name of one person. Patta is in the name of somebody else or one or more other persons?

This has to be approached on a case to case basis.

It is also possible to obtain a correct patta if there is an error or omission or oversight. Decision may be taken after obtaining legal advice.

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